“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

Bad news for warmists: Sun has entered 'weakest solar cycle in a century'

The conceit that human production of carbon dioxide is capable of driving the earth’s climate is running smack into the sun. CO2 accounts for a mere 0.039% of the atmosphere, while the sun accounts for 99.86% of all of the mass in our entire solar system. And Ol’ Sol is not taking the insult lightly. Vencore Weather reports:

For the past 5 days, solar activity has been very low and one measure of solar activity – its X-ray output – has basically flatlined in recent days (plot below courtesy NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center). Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots.

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Antarctic Volcano Mount Erebus "Wakes Up"

erebus jan 2015Major volcanic eruptions, such as the recent one in Iceland, capture our imagination and make worldwide news headlines. Conversely, moderate volcanic activity is typically uninteresting to the public and therefore never makes media headlines, with one important exception….volcanic activity in Antarctica.

Antarctica’s Mount Erebus cleared its magma-swollen throat on December 5, 2014, as evidenced by the occurrence of multiple earthquakes and increased volcanic activity within its massive 12,448-foot high summit (photo above). Erebus has maintained a moderate level of volcanic activity since fulltime monitoring began in 1972, punctuated by more active pulses (1984, 1993, 2001, 2005, and 2015).

You Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up

puppiesBut then most of us aren't "climate scientists", who have once again granted themselves permission to assemble a cavalcade of conjecture and omission and parade it as "evidence", courtesy of the Australian Academy of Science. They do, however, care deeply about puppies and kittens.

The Australian Academy of Science  has hitched its wagon to the “climate change will kill kittens and puppies” school of science. This kittens-and-puppies theme was dreamed up by Harvard University’s Naomi Oreskes and endorsed by Academician and ABC Science Show host Robyn Williams — a device quite deliberately intended to make householders sit up, take notice and believe in the scariness of computer-model forecasts.

Coldest Temperatures In Years Blast U.S., Prompting Polar Vortex Chatter

articOnce again the relentless stretch of bitter cold battering Northeastern cities including Boston with record snow has many people wondering if the polar vortex is here.

On Monday morning, Boston experienced its coldest temperature since 2004, and New York City woke up to the coldest February morning in 28 years. Record cold temperatures were set from Ohio to Virginia, and all the way up to New England.

You may remember when the term polar vortex became popular last winter. The relentless and record-breaking cold experienced last year had many Americans looking for an explanation, and February of this year has been just as bad if not worse in many Northeastern cities.

Warm in Seattle, but not because of global warming

seattleA beautiful sunset and highs near 60 degrees Monday in Seattle have some dreaming of summer and others screaming 'global warming.'

Cliff Mass, professor or Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, explained that the warm, dry weather is actually due to a big area of high pressure, or ridge, over the West Coast. A trough, or low pressure, is sitting over the East Coast, which is buried in snow.

Mass said it's been going on all winter where we've had either extreme dryness or periods of wet, warm conditions.

Are The Oceans Really Dying?

coral reefWhenever environmental doomsayers run out of arguments, they turn to the sea for hope – or rather, fear. Fish stocks are collapsing, and if climate change doesn’t get us, ocean acidification will. But how true are these claims? The panic of popular science writers (and some scientists) notwithstanding, it appears many of the scares related to the oceans have been overblown. --Ivo Vegter, Daily Maverick, 16 February 2015

The scientific community plays an important role in identifying threats to human welfare and the environment, and in researching remedial actions. However, overstating threats or misattributing their causes leads to unwarranted public fear and to the misallocation of the scarce resources dedicated to mitigating these supposed dangers. If that isn’t enough of a deterrent to alarmism, there is the risk that scientists, and the media through which they often communicate, lose credibility, and become seen as the boy who cried wolf. --Ivo Vegter, Daily Maverick, 16 February 2015

What to call a NYT reporter of climate science?

gillis lindzenThe title of Justin Gillis’ recent NYT article is an excellent tip-off of how bad environmental reporting has gotten:

What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change?

Now, as a skeptical PhD climate scientist who has been working and publishing in the climate field for over a quarter century, I can tell you I don’t know of any other skeptics who even “doubt climate change”.

The mere existence of climate change says nothing about causation. The climate system is always changing, and always will change. Most skeptics believe humans have at least some small role in that change, but tend to believe it might well be more natural than SUV-caused.

Snowfall is Increasing in Vermont

vermont snowstormOver at the Vermont Watchdog, Bruce Parker has an article about how the "Vermont Public Interest Research Group says the Green Mountain State faces a future without snow if lawmakers don't pass a carbon tax on gasoline and heating fuel."

Of course, the trend in Vermont is towards more snow, not less.

Since records began in 1906-07, the Burlington climate sub-region -- which dominates the Vermont landscape -- has seen a highly (p<0.001) statistically significant increase in annual snowfall.

Mischief with factoids

cartoonFacts are facts, as any reputable scientist would tell you, and if someone tries to change them, like changing a pair of soiled pants, they risk embarrassing exposure. The global warming hysteria is premised on “facts” showing the earth is warming, but these “facts” have been repeatedly exposed as “factoids,” the playful invented word of novelist Norman Mailer, to describe something that is presented as fact, sounds like it could be a fact, but is actually not a fact. Surely imposing global restrictions on human activity, which would deny prosperity to the poorest among us, must be premised on something better than factoids.

New chief meteorologist explains weather this winter

Weather front IdahoDean Hazen, the new meteorologist-in-chief of the Pocatello Weather Forecast Office, has spent his life analyzing climate patterns in numerous regions across the United States, including Florida, Oklahoma and California.

But he says Southeast Idaho is different than anywhere else.

“Every place has its own forecast challenges,” he said. “But this area is particularly difficult.”

Hazen said this difficulty is due to Idaho’s mountainous terrain and the state’s storm systems that originate in the Pacific Ocean.

Divestment ethics and realities

stockCollege students who support divestment of fossil fuel stocks are passionate about their cause. Just look at their word choices. Though they could never function even one week without hydrocarbon energy, they call fossil-fuel companies “rogue entities,” assert that oil, coal and natural gas interests have the “political process in shackles,” and believe most of the world’s known fossil fuel resources must “stay in the ground” to avoid “catastrophic global warming.” It’s a shortsighted view of energy ethics and corruption.  

Their over-heated hysteria over climate change is fanned by groups like 350.org and college professors who rehash doom-and-gloom forecasts about rising seas, dying species and other cataclysms that they insist can be remedied only by terminating fossil fuel use and investments in fossil fuel companies.

Study: Climate Sceptics Know More About Climate Science Than Believers

cartoonIn my opinion no one … should close the road to free philosophizing about mundane and physical things, as if everything had already been discovered and revealed with certainty. Nor should it be considered rash not to be satisfied with those opinions which have become common. No one should be scorned in physical disputes for not holding to the opinions which happen to please other people best. –-Galileo Galilei’s timeless warning in his famous Letter to Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany (1615)

Are global warming skeptics simply ignorant about climate science? Not so, says a forthcoming paper in the journal Advances in Political Psychology by Yale Professor Dan Kahan. He finds that skeptics score about the same (in fact slightly better) on climate science questions. The study asked 2,000 respondents nine questions about where they thought scientists stand on climate science. On average, skeptics got about 4.5 questions correct, whereas manmade warming believers got about 4 questions right. --Maxim Lott, Fox News, 12 February 2015